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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 99-1868



[58 PA. CODE CHS. 63 AND 65]

Fishing Tournaments and Fishing Derbies

[29 Pa.B. 5719]

   The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) by this order amends §§ 63.40 and 65.24 (relating to fishing tournaments and fishing derbies; and miscellaneous special regulations). The Commission is publishing these amendments under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendments relate to fishing.

A.  Effective Date

   The amendments will go into effect on January 1, 2000.

B.  Contact Person

   For further information on the amendments, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Assistant Counsel, (717) 657-4546, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000. This final-form rulemaking is available electronically through the Commission's Web site (

C.  Statutory Authority

   The amendments are published under the statutory authority of sections 2102 and 2307 of the code (relating to rules and regulations; and waters limited to specific purposes).

D.  Purpose and Background

   The amendments are designed to update, modify and improve Commission regulations relating to fishing. The specific purpose of each amendment is described in more detail under the summary of changes.

E.  Summary of Changes

   (1)  Section 63.40 (relating to fishing tournaments and fishing derbies). The initial development of the Commission's tournament regulations considered the fact that fishing derbies encompassing just fishing activity were not required to apply for special activity permits. Therefore, § 63.40(c)(1) previously provided that it was unlawful to conduct a fishing derby on Commonwealth waters without first obtaining a special activity permit from the Commission if the derby involves an unusual congregation of boats. Section 63.40(c)(5), however, required all derby organizers to notify the Commission of the date, time and place of proposed fishing derbies. The easiest way for derby applicants to notify the Commission of a proposed derby was the use of the special activity permit application. Consequently, confusion existed in the Commission's regional offices as to when a fishing derby was actually required to apply for a special activity permit. The Commission eliminated this confusion by removing the phrase, ''if the derby involves an unusual congregation of boats.'' The majority of fishing derbies previously applied for and received special activity permits. Thus, removing this language will have little impact on fishing derbies. The Commission also amended the paragraph to make it clear that the requirement does not apply to privately owned waters that are not open to the public.

   In addition, the amendment to § 63.40(c)(1) makes Subsection (c)(5) no longer necessary. Therefore, the Commission removed this paragraph.

   (2)  Section 65.24 (relating to miscellaneous special regulations). In 1989, the Commission formalized regulations regarding the taking of smelt in inland waters. This action was prompted by the establishment of a smelt population, particularly in Lake Raystown, and the popularity of this fishery. Kinzua Reservoir and its tributaries were included because efforts were underway to establish a smelt population in those waters. However, based on findings from various sampling efforts, it was determined that smelt never really took hold in Kinzua Reservoir. Thus, the Commission has removed the special regulations pertaining to the harvest of smelt in Kinzua Reservoir and its tributaries.

F.  Paperwork

   The amendment to § 65.24 will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements. The amendments to § 63.40 will slightly increase paperwork in that it will require all derby organizers to apply for special activity permits, not just those involving an unusual congregation of boats. This change, however, will have little impact because historically the majority of fishing derbies applied for and received special activity permits.

G.  Fiscal Impact

   The amendments will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The special activities permit is free of charge. Therefore, the amendments to § 63.40 will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.

H.  Public Involvement

   A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 29 Pa.B. 4442 (August 21, 1999). The Commission did not receive any public comments regarding the proposal.


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder at 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided and no comments were received.

   (3)  The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing statutes.


   The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 63 and 65, are amended by amending §§ 63.40 and 65.24 to read as set forth at 29 Pa.B. 4442.

   (b)  The Executive Director will submit this order and 29 Pa.B. 4442 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.

   (c)  The Executive Director shall certify this order and 29 Pa.B. 4442 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48A-100 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-1868. Filed for public inspection November 5, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]

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